- American Express, DuPont and other big names are at the forefront of workplace mental health. American Express, in particular, was recognized by the American Psychological Association for raising awareness of workplace depression and substance abuse, promoting early recognition of symptoms and reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness, Employee Benefits News reports.
- Additionally, the National Council for Behavioral Health recently announced that up to 15 million Americans who are covered under Aetna’s group insurance plans have an opportunity to take its Mental Health First Aid course in the fall, according to EBN.
- The NCBH notes that $105 billion in productivity and 35 million work days are lost every year due to unchecked mental illness or substance abuse – and more than half of managers have no training to recognize the signs.
“Roughly 61 million U.S. adults experience mental illness in any given year, yet 60% of them won’t ever receive the treatment that they need,” explains Betsy Schwartz, who oversees the NCBH’s Mental Health First Aid course, told EBN. “Someone who’s depressed might have difficulty concentrating.”
The Mental Health First Aid course is an eight-hour training program that is skills and literacy-based. It focuses on teaching participants the signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, panic attacks and trauma.
Some company programs, like American Express’s Healthy Minds program, are garnering attention because they integrate behavioral health and emotional wellbeing into their wellness programs, EBN reports. Through Health Minds, employees get eight free sessions with a mental health professional, either at an onsite vendor or EAP vendor. They are also currently piloting an online meditation program.
HR managers looking to update their mental health programs should look toward successful, winning examples that focus on education and empathy.